Third-Ranked ASU Gymnasts Travel to No. 5 Utah This Week

Jan. 20, 2003

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This Week --Third-ranked Arizona State continues its 28th season of women's gymnastics on the road on Friday, January 24, versus No. 5 Utah at 7:00 p.m. at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. Friday's meet marks the third ranked opponent in 2003 for the Sun Devils, as they faced No. 8 Stanford Jan. 3 at the Maui Invitational and No. 17 Washington last week. This meet will be the final tuneup before traveling to Tucson, Arizona to face No. 15-ranked Arizona on Jan. 31. Rankings this week are based on high scores through Jan. 20, 2003.

ASU In The Rankings --Arizona State debuted at No. 15 in the GymInfo rankings, based on the preseason coaches poll released January 2. ASU was 16th last week. This week, based upon high scores, ASU is No. 3 due to its 197.300 posted last week versus Washington, its third-highest team score in school history. Pac-10 Conference foe UCLA was selected to win the crown with 752 overall votes and 20 first-place bids. ASU received 333 overall votes and was neighbored in the standings by No. 7 Stanford (570), No. 10 Arizona (444) and No. 13 Oregon State (355). Washington (17th, 268) rounds out the list of Pac-10 teams making the top-25. For a complete list of the current rankings see Page 2 of this release. For more information access http://www.troester.com/gym/.

2002 In Review --The Sun Devils began the 2002 season picked 9th in the coaches poll. They finished the season ranked 18th. ASU compiled a regular-season record of 8-5-1 en route to playing host to the NCAA South Central Regionals in Tempe. ASU's run to the postseason was derailed when senior Rhonda Robinette suffered a broken humerus bone (right arm) in a workout fall and missed the regional. Earlier in the year, Robinette had become only the 10th Sun Devil ever to score a perfect 10.0 (on beam versus Arizona, its first in that event since 1997). ASU missed an NCAA Championships berth by 0.075 points, but did qualify senior Laura Moon as an all-arounder.

Last Week, Third-Highest Team Score In School History --The Sun Devils opened the 2003 home season at Wells Fargo Arena versus Pac-10 foe No. 17 Washington and took first-place with a score of 197.300, the third-highest team score in school history. Washington posted a 194.150. Based upon its 197.300 team score, ASU is ranked No. 3 in the nation this week as rankings are based on high scores at this point of the campaign. Sun Devil junior Maggie Germaine scored a school record and career-high all-around total of 39.625, placing first. She also scored a career-high 9.90 on beam, tied a career-high on floor (9.95) and set a season-high on vault (9.9). Senior Ashley Ellsberry tied a career-high with a 9.925 on floor and set career highs on vault (9.8) and bars (9.875). Sophomore Kari Muth set a career-high on beam (9.9) and tied a career best on bars (9.9). Freshman Ashley Kelly, only in her second varsity meet, posted career highs in all four events: vault (9.875), bars (9.9), beam (9.95) and floor (9.825).

Slow Starting Sun Devils --For all the times ASU has saved its best for last, perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that the Sun Devils don't have a reputation for flashy debuts. In fact, six of the last nine seasons have begun with ASU earning what would be its lowest team total of the year (exceptions: 1999, 2000, 2002). Last season, ASU opened the year with a 193.350 showing versus Utah State. The following week, ASU posted its lowest score of the campaign, a 192.125 versus UCLA. After that, ASU posted its highest team total ever, a 197.850 against Arizona (3/1/02).

Super Frosh Debut --Freshman Ashley Kelly (York, Pa.) recorded a 38.975 all-around score in her college debut at the Maui Invitational (1/3), which was the highest all-around total at ASU since Elizabeth Reid's 39.300 at the NCAA Super Six, April 23, 1999 (representing a span of 45 months or 37 actual meets). Had it not been for a -0.1 point reduction on the floor exercise, Kelly would have posted a 39.075. Kelly's Maui Invite scores: 9.750 (vault); 9.825 (bars); 9.825 (beam); and 9.575 (floor). Kelly backed up that performance by setting four career-highs versus Washington last week: vault (9.875), bars (9.9), beam (9.95) and floor (9.825). Her all-around score was also a career-high (38.975).

The Streak --For 25 straight regular season meets -- including four in 2001 -- no one could overcome ASU at Wells Fargo Arena. Not even No. 1 UCLA. In that span, the Sun Devils defeated 39 consecutive opponents dating back to 1996. However, in the 2001 season finale, ASU beat Iowa and Kentucky, but could not top No. 7 Nebraska, which shot to No. 4 in the rankings after turning back ASU for only the third time in the last 44 meets at Wells Fargo Arena. The dates of ASU's last five home losses are as follows: Stanford (1/25/02), Nebraska (3/16/01), Utah (2/2/96), Utah (2/11/94), Oregon State (2/7/92).

Ashley Ellsberry (Senior)Set three career-highs against Washington 1/17 ... tied a career-high on floor (9.925, placed second) and set highs on vault (9.8) and bars (9.875, tied for fourth) ... the vault score was only her second performance ever in the event ... tied for second on beam ... posted a 39.500 all-around score vs. UW, which represented a career-best and tied for sixth-best at ASU all-time ... posted a 38.400 in the all-around competition at the Maui Invitational (1/3/03) and placed seventh ... was inserted on vault and bars during pre-meet warmups when teammate Margaret Wojciak hyperextended her knee and could not compete ... she was not prepared for the change, but showed senior leadership in stepping in at the last moment ... that should help her confidence to get her into the vault permanently ... posted a 9.300 on vault, a 9.375 on bars, and a team-high 9.900 on beam and a 9.825 on floor at Maui ... the vault score was her first at ASU.

Cassidy Vreeke (Senior)Set season-highs on vault (9.9), beam (9.875) and floor (9.875) versus Washington ... tied for third on floor and tied for second on vault vs. UW ... finished third on vault at the Maui Invitational with a 9.800 ... posted a 9.850 on floor, which tied for third with teammate Maggie Germaine ... she has looked the best of her career on vault and floor ... needs confidence on beam ... recorded a score of 9.250 on beam.

Margaret Wojciak (Senior)Has not competed this year ... may return to the vault lineup this week ... suffered a hyperextension of her right knee in pre-meet warmups at the Maui invitational (1/3/03) and did not compete ... had to scratch from the vault and uneven bars ... teammate Ashley Ellsberry took her place in those events ... coaches say she is important in the vault and then will add more events as the season progresses.

Jada Cox (Junior)Posted a 9.825 (season-high) on vault versus Washington (1/17/03) as an exhibition ... competed in one event at the Maui Invitational (1/3/03) and posted a score of 9.600 on vault ... is one of the keys to the vault lineup ... the coaches expect her to step up.

Carla DeMartini (Junior)Scored a season-high 9.85 on vault versus Washington (1/17/03) ... posted a season-high 9.775 on floor in that same meet ... competed in three events at the Maui Invitational (1/3/03) ... posted scores of 9.700 (vault), 9.700 (bars) and 9.650 on floor ... has been training well on bars and is a solid performer on floor.

Maggie Germaine (Junior)Won the all-around competition versus Washington (1/17/03) with a career-high score of 39.625 ... that all-around score is the best-ever in ASU history, eclipsing the previous best of Laura Moon (39.600 on 3/9/01) ... scored career-highs on bars (9.875, tied for fourth), beam (9.90, tied for second) and floor (9.95, first) in that meet ... her vault score of 9.9 tied for second ... she was nominated for Pacific-10 Conference Gymnast Of The Week (for 1/20/03) ... competed in three events in the Maui Invitational (1/3/03) ... scored a 9.800 on uneven bars, which tied her for third at the meet ... posted a 9.850 on floor, tying for third-place with teammate Cassidy Vreeke ... falls led to a 9.300 on beam ... has been training well overall.

Amber Giorgianni (Junior)Competed on beam (9.85, season-high) and bars (9.125, fall) against Washington (1/17/03) ... competed in two events at the Maui Invitational (1/3/03) ... scored 9.650 on beam and 9.725 on bars ... the 9.725 on bars was an ASU career best (previous best being 9.200 in a 2002 exhibition performance) ... Amber has done a great job of starting ASU on bars ... also steady on beam.

Trisha Dixon (Sophomore)Will miss a portion of the 2003 season while rehabilitating her back ... suffers from a chronic back problem ... the coaching staff had high hopes for Dixon in 2003.

Kari Muth (Sophomore)Won the event and tied a career-high on bars (9.9) and set a career-high on beam (9.9, tied for second) versus Washington (1/17/03) ... also scored a 9.325 on floor after suffering one fall ... participated in three events in the Maui Invitational (1/3/03) ... scored a 9.825 on the balance beam ... turned in a 9.750 on bars and after a fall, posted a 9.150 on the floor exercise ... needs confidence on floor.

Ashley Kelly (Freshman)Improved from her spectacular debut in the Washington (1/17/03) meet, establishing career-highs in all four events: vault (9.875, sixth), bars (9.9, tied for first), beam (9.95, first) and floor (9.825, fifth) ... her 39.550 all-around score was her career-best and placed her second behind teammate Maggie Germaine (39.625) ... that score tied her for third on ASU's all-time all-around list with Amy Shelton (2/21/97) and Germaine (3/2/01) ... turned in a marvelous college debut at the Maui Invitational (1/3) ... recorded a 38.975 all-around score, which was the highest all-around total since Elizabeth Reid's 39.300 at the NCAA Super Six, April 23, 1999 (a span of 45 months or 37 actual meets) ... will only get better throughout the season ... will prove to be a great leader.

Lauren Powell (Freshman)Will miss the entire 2003 season while rehabilitating a dislocated elbow.

Shaena Friedman (Freshman)Scored a career-high on vault (9.7) versus Washington (1/17/03) ... competed in one event, the vault, at the Maui Invitational (1/3) ... recorded a 9.175 in that meet after a fall ... the coaches hope she will step up and start the vault lineup.

Sarah Zigler (Freshman)Walk-on who has not competed thus far in 2003.

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